Charities should avoid joining a queue of whingers if they want to gain the support of government, the Minister for Civil Society told an audience of small charities yesterday.
At a round-table event organised by the Directory of Social Change, Nick Hurd was asked by Emma Egging, founder of young people's charity the Jon Egging Trust, how she and other small charities could attract the support of government.
Hurd said the first step was to "articulate a clear need" the government could help with.
Rather than just demanding help with a particular project, he said, charities should instead demonstrate that they were able to help the government with problems it wanted to solve.
"There are plenty of people whingeing," he said. "Don’t join that queue. It’s not going to get you anywhere. Try to be part of the solution."
Hurd said the government was keen to provide support for charities and to "get as much value out of the sector as we possibly can", but it was limited by lack of funds and its commissioning structure.
"It is really hard because the public sector is terribly bureaucratic and very risk-averse, and its processes are clunky," he said. "We’re starting with a public service market dominated by a few big private sector firms and we’re trying to change that, but we’re nowhere near where we want to be."